Welcome to South Wairarapa

If you’re new to South Wairarapa, nau mai, haere mai – Welcome! Nau mai rā – we’re glad you’re here.

South Wairarapa is a growing district with more people and families arriving each week to live, work, play and enjoy the great outdoors. Nestled about an hour’s drive from Wellington, surrounded by coasts and mountains, you really have the best of both worlds.

With a rich Māori and agricultural history, our towns and communities have a distinct charm. Known for our wide open spaces, rugged coastlines, vineyards, boutique shopping, booktown status, military history, roaring winds, stunning natural resources and friendly locals, South Wairarapa is an incredible place to call home.

If you’ve recently moved – or are thinking about moving – and you want to find out more information you can contact Michaela, our Welcoming Communities Coordinator, at welcomingcommunities@swdc.govt.nz or text/call 027 444 3258.

Here’s some information to help you settle in:

Work and employment

If you’re new and want to find employment, you can look online at TradeMe or Seek.

Many people living in South Wairarapa commute to Masterton, Wellington or the Hutt Valley for work; catching the train or using their own vehicle.

South Wairarapa has many small businesses and employers so don’t be afraid to ask around or enquire through a local Facebook group, as not all opportunities are publicly advertised.

If you have your own business or are wanting to start your own business, you may be interested in joining Business Wairarapa (our local Chamber of Commerce), the Martinborough Business Association or Greytown’s Country Village Heaven.

If you’re struggling to find work, you may be eligible for financial assistance through Work and Income.


South Wairarapa has a number of early childhood centres, primary schools and a high school for children and young adults to enrol. More information about our local schools can be found at Education Counts.

Medical support

Each of our three urban towns have medical centres to support your various health and medical needs. You can find out more information via the links below:

Pae tu Mokai Featherston Medical
Greytown Medical Centre
Martinborough Health Services

If you are experiencing a medical emergency and require assistance urgently, call 111.

The closest hospital is based in Masterton: Wairarapa Hospital.

You can also call Healthline on 0800 611 116 to receive free medical advice 24/7 from a trained, registered nurse. If you can’t speak English there is an interpreter service available.

Join the library

We have an incredible library service, with libraries in Featherston, Greytown and Martinborough that are free to join. You can find more information, such as opening hours and locations, on our Libraries page.

Getting around / public transport

There are a number of ways of getting around our towns and district. Many people use their personal vehicles, ride-share with other drivers, or walk or bike around town.

In terms of public transport, travelling by train is a popular choice for people commuting to Wellington or Masterton. Buses also travel regularly between our towns and to Masterton and Wellington. Visit the Metlink website for more information on train timetables or bus services.

Explore nature

South Wairarapa is known for its incredible natural beauty. You can explore our walking trails and cycling trails, go swimming or camping, surf our coasts, check out our local parks. If you’re not sure where to start, check out Destination Wairarapa.

What’s on in South Wairarapa?

There are many groups and events happening regularly in South Wairarapa. A great place to look is the Events section in the Wairarapa Times Age Mid Week, which is free to all residents and has events happening that week. As well, our local newspapers (the Featherston Phoenix, the Greytown Grapevine and the Martinborough Star) will tell you what events are happening in your town this month.

More events can be found on the Destination Wairarapa website and on our events page, or you can check out what’s happening this month at the Featherston Community Centre.

Not all events are listed online so be sure to check out the local noticeboards in your community, or ask one of our friendly locals or service staff about what’s coming up.

Making friends & connections

A lot of people move to South Wairarapa and are looking to make new friends, but it can be hard to know where to start. We encourage you to get out into the community and chat with our friendly locals.

You may want to attend local events, join community groups and playgroups, volunteer, join your local sports club, join local Facebook groups, attend a church service, visit local cafes and restaurants, or chat to our friendly service staff. Our local newspapers (the Featherston Phoenix, the Greytown Grapevine and the Martinborough Star) have a wealth of information, so check out this month’s free copy to see what groups and events you can be a part of.

If you want to be notified about events happening for new people, register your interest by emailing Michaela, our Welcoming Communities Coordinator, at welcomingcommunities@swdc.govt.nz.

Getting support

If you’re struggling, support is available to you.

You can call or visit the Support Hub at the Community Centre in Featherston, contact our local medical centres or call Community Mental Health on 0508 432 432. There are also a range of resources online through the Mental Health Foundation, Allright and more, that can give you tools to navigate hard times.

If you’re struggling financially, we have incredible local Food Banks in Featherston and Martinborough, as well as community pantries where food is regularly donated. You can also talk to Work & Income to find out if you’re entitled to financial support.

If you need support paying your rates, there are a range of options we can help you with. You can find out more on our rates page.

Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out Loud Screen Reader Support